Bridesmaid blues

This is a really tough one. I asked my sister to be bridesmaid this weekend. I have struggled to ask her as we aren't that close and very different, but she's my only sister and I know it would hurt her and my mum and dad if I didn't have her as my bridesmaid.
Her reaction initially was lovely, she seemed touched and happy. However within the space of half an hour (at dinner with my parents) she made curt comments about how she ‘wondered when I’d ask and that it was about time.
She then went onto say ‘well obviously I’ll get a date?’ Which shocked me. She is not seeing anyone at the moment and we are having a small reception with only 30 people, which means a lot of family won’t be going (which she knows). When I said we’d have to think about it because of the small numbers she was visibly put out and didn’t seem happy at all.
It seems to me she thinks she has some sort of right to be bridesmaid -surely it’s a honour to be asked? And that she she should automatically have a plus one- she’s not in a relationship now, she will know everyone there, it’s a lot of money to spend on a stranger and we have made our ceremony very small cutting out people we’d like to be there given a bigger budget.
Am I being selfish thinking her responsibilities on the day will keep her occupied anyway and she wouldn’t be able to attend to her date who wouldn’t know anyone? 
Am I bridezilla? I hate this please help!


  • A lot of people will probably disagree with me, but I think you were right to ask her. Sometimes inviting just one more girl to wear the BM uniform is worth it to keep familial peace. As you say, she is your only sister and with such a small group, it would be blatantly obvious that you didn't ask her if you hadn't. 

    I'm sure that you recognize from your history with her (including this dinner) that you aren't going to be able to expect too much from her. I'd include her in your planning to the extent that you do the other ladies, but obviously don't have high expectations on her participation level.  Just get her in the dress and standing in the right place on the big day and consider it a job well done. 

    I wouldn't worry about her plus one comments yet - I'm assuming your wedding is a ways off, and who knows what kind of relationship she will or will not be in. She may end up engaged to a chap that both you and your h2b absolutely love and wouldn't consider not inviting him, or she may not even so much as had a date since today. I'd leave that issue alone until it's closer to the time of sending actual invites. You can always play the "sorry, numbers are tight" card at that time if you need to.

  • Mrs_BadgerMrs_Badger Posts: 1,440 New bride

    It's a tough one because I would have naturally put a plus one down for any guest.  I just think it's curteous - but that's me.


  • SpacepuffinSpacepuffin Posts: 664

    We added a plus one for our guests. Most didn't take us up on it unless they were well-established couples. We have 40 guests. 

  • Mrs-17Mrs-17 Posts: 89 New bride

    I think it's really nice that you asked her, particularly if you're not close, you've definitely done the right thing.

    In terms of a plus one, only you know your family dynamic but I absolutely wouldn't feel obliged to give her one, particularly if she isn't seeing anyone. We only offered +1s for our wedding to those who were in established relationships OR those who wouldn't have known anyone else otherwise. Your sister doesnt fall into either of those categories currently but I wouldn't stress about having that conversation until the invites go out. This definitely isn't a bridezilla situation haha. 

    In terms of her responsibilities keeping her busy on the day.... it depends what responsibilities you're planning on giving her? My bridesmaids had their role in the ceremony and I sat them at the top table, but aside from that, there weren't really any 'responsibilities' as such! 

  • You've done better than me. I've got a younger sister but we're not close, nor do we massively get on but it's just because we're such different people, she's quite flaky and have different effics. I decided not to have her as a bridesmaid as I knew she wouldn't be there for me and would just make me more stressed out and I figured it was the one day I need to put myself first.

    Because of this though, we've said she can have a plus one (a friend as she's single) as it's someone to A, keep her busy and pre-occupied so she doesn't bother me and B, gives her someone to talk to that is her own age and she knows (there are family there but they're quite old and she'd get bored and wander and no doubt wind me or mum up) so it should hopefully make my mum happier that she's not a bridesmaid.

    I did get a fair bit of agro from her and mum for not choosing her as a bridesmaid but things have happened since and it's re-cemented why my choice was right.

    In your position, I'd keep her as a bridesmaid, let her have a friend (as long as you've met them and tell her it's on her to make sure you meet them before RSVP deadline or else it's a no plus+ ) but make sure she's got a specific task for the day e.g to look after your mum, or make sure you always have a drink in hand (soft or booze) but let the planning and hen-do etc fall to your other bridesmaids.

  • RubyCatRubyCat Posts: 272 New bride

    Personally I'm not shocked that she was expecting to be asked. It's pretty standard to ask your sister to be a bridesmaid - unless there's some major family feud!

    It's a shame she can't take a plus one, but she will be sitting at the top table with you and your parents anyway she won't be sitting on her own - does she understand that?

  • AmyrosieAmyrosie Posts: 134 New bride

    I wouldn’t feel bad about not letting her have a +1. We have a ‘no ring, no bring policy’, so unless your engaged or married you don’t get a plus one!

    We’ve invited 120 to the day, and have to draw the line somewhere.  My brother won’t be bringing a +1, and he totally understands why i don’t want a stranger at my wedding.

    Who wants to look back at the their wedding photos and have to try to remember who some of the guests were!

  • redhair82redhair82 Posts: 289 New bride

    Torn with this one...I wouldn’t dream of not asking my sister to be bm but neither would she be automatically entitled to a +1. I disagree with giving them for the hell of it, if they know people there and aren’t in an established relationship then they aren’t needed. I don’t want strangers at my wedding and in my photos!!

  • gill17gill17 Posts: 568 New bride

    I didn't ask any of my 3 sisters, and didnt give a plus one unless they were married or living together. We had 30 adult guests, mostly immediate family. My sisters had me as their BM and I never had a plus one. 

    At the end of the day you need to weigh up the hassle she'll cause you being BM vs the hassle she'll cause if you speak to her, or ask her to step down. If it's worth going along with occasional comments to prevent more annoyance then do so, but only you can decide that really. I don't think you are being bridezilla at all. Its an honour to be asked and no, a plus should not be assumed in my opinion, especially at a small wedding. All the best with it!   

  • Barbie3Barbie3 Posts: 340 New bride

    I've been to more weddings where the sister/s are NOT bridesmaids that ones where they are. Far more normal in my experience for BMs to be friends or ur friends' kids.

    My sisters and me weren't each other's BMs, we all get on brilliantly and noone thought it was strange. 

    If your only asking ur sister to be BM to keep the peace, i don't think its worth it, especially with those numbers.  If she's not BM it would be nice to offer her a plus 1 but U should insist its someone you know not just a random boyfriend she's been with a few weeks

  • I wouldn't give a plus one.  My cousin and bridesmaid has been asking about a plus one.  We're not having a particularly small wedding but we know each and every person coming.  My cousin doesn't have a partner at the moment and we get married in 2.5 months.  I don't want someone at my wedding I've never met and that none of my family will have met. There's also the cost of paying for that person to be there all day!

  • I definitely don’t think she’s owed a plus one, and a plus one of someone in the wedding party can often feel like a spare part, especially if they don’t know lots of other wedding guests.

    We didn’t give any plus ones, or even consider it. Partners were invited if we had an actual relationship with both them and their partner, but not for any other reason. 

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